With its eerie silences, foreboding chords and hymnal chanting, Arca’s third record really does manage to erect a sonic cathedral around your ears.
Transmuting the hopelessly bittersweet suffering and anguish of life into blindsiding art, Arca has crafted the best album of the year so far.
Arca sees one of this generation’s most forward-thinking electronic musicians shift the focus from humanity at large to his own worries, with a relatable human openness.
At this point, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that Arca is one of the most vital and consequential voices in electronic music this generation has seen.
The symbiotic relationship between Ghersi's voice and his productions is one of Arca's biggest achievements.
The more Alejandro Ghersi gives of himself, the larger his music as Arca grows. His latest feels both intimate and expansive, a connection between his melodic past and a chaotic future.
On his new self-titled album, Alejandro Ghersi, the sonic visionary behind Arca, fluidly transitions from the adventurous electronic dissonance of his previous work into a somber, refined sound that fuses elegance with emotion.
Though it contains his most serene music by a stretch, Arca is the epitome of that warring nature, reaching for his innermost self to attempt at finding a balance.
Give the best pieces here — i.e. the first six tracks — some fair time on good headphones and it’s disturbing in the best and strangest ways: a pitch-black digital blanket for fierce but dying contempt and sorrow.
‘Arca’ is an enthralling marriage of the cyborg swirl of his arrangements and the disarming intimacy of his singing.
The whole effect is something that’s the very opposite of escapist, but rather reflective and deeply personal. ‘Arca’ is an album that’s also a prison – a place where you’re trapped in Ghersi’s compelling, claustrophobic world.
This back-and-forth is carried along throughout Arca, demonstrating that Ghersi hasn't lost his fondness for tempered electronic cacophony (see "Castration" and "Whip"), but has expanded his palette, to mind-bendingly gorgeous results.
Through ‘Arca’, Ghersi guides the listener to contort and cry their way through otherworldly, synthetic dimensions.
As always, Ghersi pushes his boundaries on Arca, and the vulnerability he displays makes it some of his most exciting and moving music yet.
Arca presents its artist as an icon and publicly visible figure, no longer obscured or represented by Jesse Kanda’s avatars.